What Is Chronic Back Pain?
Back pain can be described in many ways. Acute, chronic, sub-acute, intermittent, chronic intermittent, etc. etc. This article will help to clear up any confusion as to what is chronic back pain, and how to differentiate it from other types of back pain.
All the terms above are basically used to determine the time frame of the condition. Although there are many different causes of back pain, terms such as chronic or acute can be applied to better describe how long the spinal condition has been a problem. Whilst this may seem simplified, the time frame becomes important when determining the best course of treatment.
Acute Versus Chronic Back Pain
Probably the most common question that arises is the difference between acute and chronic pain.
Generally speaking, acute injuries have sudden or rapid onset. This could be the result of a fall or accident, or when your back suddenly 'goes out' form something as simple as bending forwards to pick up something. The pain is usually quite intense with an episode of acute back pain.
Chronic back pain is generally considered to be pain that has persisted for longer than 3 months. This can be a progression from an episode of acute back pain that has not settled, or as a slow onset of back pain over time. About 20 percent of people affected by acute low back pain develop chronic low back pain with persistent symptoms after one year. (Subacute low back pain is defined as pain that lasts between 4 and 12 weeks).
The nature of chronic back pain is variable. It is usually less severe than acute back pain, but can vary in intensity from day to day. It may be severe, or may not cause any pain at all. The character of the pain can change as well. It may be a sharp, stabbing or burning pain, but more commonly chronic back pain is felt as a dull ache (like tooth ache).
Although rare, chronic back pain can be a sign of a serious illness. To find out more, click here.
Treating Chronic Back Pain
The correct treatment protocol for chronic back pain depends on the underlying cause. Regardless of the spinal condition, all forms of mechanical back pain are the end result of repeated, abnormal spinal movements that strain the muscles, discs, and joints, causing tissue damage.
Medications are targeted towards numbing pain, or reducing inflammation (inflammation is a key component in all back pain, read more here). Whilst this may provide temporary relief, it does not actually correct the problem.
It is the same story with surgery, which should only be performed in extreme cases of back pain where all other treatment avenues have been exhausted.
For the fastest ways to naturally relieve the discomfort of back pain, click here. These methods a very effective, but cannot address what is often years of underlying spinal dysfunction.
The key to effectively treating chronic back pain is to get a proper diagnosis of the cause. A lot of the time this may be due to spinal misalignment or a muscle imbalance, both of which can be quickly treated using natural methods.
By understanding what is chronic back pain, and how it differs from acute back pain, you can take the appropriate course of action. Realising that the pain is just a sign of an underlying problem, you should seek a health professionals advise so that you can be sure you are treating the problem correctly.
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